If you’re my Instafriend, then you already know my big New Year’s resolution for 2015—to eat more nachos. Other than that, I resolved to: keep the spout on the Sriracha bottle clean, try a new kind of chocolate bar every week, and catch up on all the new brunches around town.
I’ve been working diligently on that last one, so here are nine new ways to pack on the weekend morning calories, which will give you extra incentive to keep any New Year’s resolutions involving gyms, yoga or Prancercise. Try them one by one, or if you resolved to be more excessive this year, go on an epic nine-brunch bender this weekend.
For all those poor pizza-less souls sitting around the house at high noon on a Saturday, wishing that magic lamp belly button ring wishes really did come true because they’d wish for Apizza Scholls to be open, well, there really is a belly button ring genie, because Apizza now serves lunch on weekends. On Saturday and Sunday, get there between 11:30am and 2:30pm, and you’ll find 10 different 11-inch personal pies, plus the Caesar we all know and love. Lots of Apizza’s dinner pies are on the menu, but if you’re an Apizza Amore or Bacon Bianca fan, have yourself a good cry in the car before you come in, because they aren’t. Mimosas are though, so good job on that wish too, genie!
4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd. * 503.233.1286 * apizzascholls.com * Brunch Sat-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm
Boke Bowl Dim Sum
Sometimes you want to sit alone at the bar and have dim sum and sometimes you want to sit with eight of your closest friends and have dim sum, and sometimes you want to sit with your parents and throw dim sum on the floor, and you can do all those things at Boke Bowl’s new weekend dim sum, a happy hodgepodge of NW Portland families and dim sum seekers and Boke devotees. Carts stacked with bamboo steamers full of sui mai and banana leaf sweet rice navigate the strollers and dumpling-tossing toddlers, while the kitchen slings hot plates of pea tips with fermented black beans and Boke fried chicken and waffles. For dessert there are green tea tarts, banana cream profiteroles, and sesame balls, which are of course, perfectly designed for both eating and throwing on the floor.
1200 NW 18th Ave. * 503.719.5698 * bokebowl.com * Dim Sum Sat-Sun 11am-3pm
Milk Glass Market
Those who’ve long mourned the 2010 passing of N. Mississippi’s darling Moxie RX food cart, rejoice, because proprietress Nancye Benson is at it again, this time between the four solid walls of a sweet little NoPo space that’s got Sweedeedee’s easy charm and a Woodsman Market-esque sundries supply. Sit at the bar with a cup of tea and a mile-high cheddar biscuit or take your $6 Bloody Mary, fig anise panini, and chorizo and roasted-pepper-studded gratin to one of the handful of tables (note to large groups who’d like to eat together—probably not gonna happen at brunch high tide). Or just pop in for a stick of butter, a half dozen eggs, a bag of housemade granola and a bottle of wine (breakfast of champions!)…but don’t be surprised if you end up staying for a mimosa and a ginger cupcake with lemon cream cheese frosting.
2150 N. Killingsworth St. * 503.395.4742 * milkglassmrkt.com * Tue-Sun 9am-7pm
Every now and then, something I didn’t even know I really needed appears in my life, like a bubble wrap calendar, or a sleeping desk workstation, or a lemon glazed pistachio spice roll. The latter being the ideal way to kick off your brunch at Levant, perhaps paired with a harissa Bloody Mary with za’atar salt rim. The Sunday-only brunch menu lets you pick and choose from French-Arabesque exoticness like the green shakshuka, Persian-styled baked omelette, stewed favas with soft boiled eggs and soujouk, and rather ethereal spiced freekah porridge garnished with Cara Cara oranges, rose syrup and a dollop of sweet labneh; or, you could just order the Israeli-style chef’s choice tasting menu for the whole table and move onto more important things, like ordering the remote-controlled Selfie stick you didn’t know you needed.
2448 E. Burnside St. * 503.954.2322 * levantpdx.com * Brunch Sun 10am-2pm
Whatever they might have told you in kindergarten, sharing is really very overrated, especially when it comes to cheerful little Le Vieux’s homemade chocolate babka. Warm and soft and oozing melted dark chocolate as you pull it apart, it’s not meant to be divided. In fact, I think you should swing the other way entirely and get two per person, plus the skillet eggs baked over duck confit and a tomato onion pancake.
1937 NW 23rd Pl. * 503.208.2907 * levieuxpdx.com * Brunch Sat-Sun 11am-3pm
A hundred Hallelujahs for the news about our very own impending Portland food hall, aka the Pine Street Market, but in the meantime, if you just can’t wait for someplace where you can eat a whole day’s worth of meals in the same building, the corner of NE Prescott & 15th has Pok Pok Noi for dinner, Grain & Gristle for lunch, and now this cute little Southern brunch box for breakfast. Start your day with shrimp ‘n grits, an Andouille omelette, or the mighty Meat+Three with fried chicken, which is substantial enough for two. Yes, you’ll still get wet dashing from doorway to doorway, but that sounds like a definite #firstworldproblem to me.
1465 NE Prescott St. * 503.841.5576 * muscadinepdx.com * Wed-Mon 8am-2pm
Surveying the Smallwares brunch menu, you know you’re a bit off the beaten brunch track when the first item is raw oysters with fish sauce and cilantro, the scrambled eggs come with sambal, and the featured pancake flavor is curry. But anyone who craves savory over sweet between the hallowed weekend hours of 11am and 3pm will emit involuntary shrieks of joy over the tough choices on this non-traditional menu—congee with Chinese sausage and granola, breakfast sausage bao ‘n gravy, or beef meatball ramen? If kimchi is what you’re craving, go nuts—it’s in the Monte Monsieur’s raspberry kimchi jam, it’s in the hanger steak rice bowl with black bean sauce, and yes, it’s in the Bloody Mary.
4605 NE Fremont St. * 971.229.0995 * smallwarespdx.com * Brunch Sat-Sun 11am-3pm
Catching beads and tossing around coconuts and cutting king cake takes a lot of energy, so it makes sense that a place that celebrates Mardi Gras year-round (sans the flashing, at least, I haven’t seen any) would dish up a hearty brunch. Chef Anh Luu’s festive new weekend brunch beckons with hot beignets and bourbon syrup (with or without fried chicken)(um, with, of course), fried oyster benedict, eggs Sardou, and shrimp n’ grits, plus a few delicious Vietnamese twists like the coconut pork rice bowl with a fried egg. Whatever you end up getting, it needs a side of the decadent cornbread and honey butter, maybe two, but probably three. After all, you’re celebrating.
28 NE 28th Ave. * 503.232.6652 * tapalaya.com * Brunch Fri-Sun 9am-3pm
This elegant NE Fremont newcomer shares the block with Free House, Acadia, County Cork Public House and the heartbreakingly misleading Sugar Me, which wants to put sugar everywhere on your body except in your mouth where it belongs. That’s okay, because if your smooth, freshly-sugared jaw craves something sweet, it needs look no further than Verdigris’ banana bread pudding with honey Chantilly and ricotta pancakes with butternut squash compote. Or if it’s had quite enough sugar, there’s always the prime rib French dip, pork cheek hash, and 60-minute eggs with Smithfield ham, potato cakes, and brown butter hollandaise. If your Brazilian sugaring appointment is after brunch, maybe order a couple of The Marcus Mariotas too—a fortifying blend of serrano-infused tequila, pineapple, yellow pepper and lime.
1315 NE Fremont St. * 503.477.8106 * verdigrisrestaurant.com * Brunch Sat-Sun 9am-2:30pm